Veteran Highlife Musician Victor Olaiya Is Dead
Veteran highlife singer Victor Olaiya has died. He was aged 89.
Olaiya died on Wednesday at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Managing Director of Evergreen Music Company Ltd, Bimbo Esho said.
Olaiya was born on 31 December 1930, in Calabar, Cross River State, the 20th child of a family of 24.
He learned to play the Bombardon and the French Horn. After leaving school he moved to Lagos, where he passed the school certificate examination in 1951 and was accepted by Howard University, US, to study civil engineering. Olaiya instead pursued a career as a musician, to the disapproval of his parents.
In 1954, Olaiya formed his own band, the Cool Cats, playing popular highlife music. His band was chosen to play at the state ball when Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom visited Nigeria in 1956, and later to play at the state balls when Nigeria became independent in 1960 and when Nigeria became a republic in 1963.
In 1963, Olaiya renamed his band to the All Stars Band when they played at the International Jazz Festival in Czechoslovakia.
Olaiya’s music bridges between Ghanaian highlife and Afrobeat.
In July 2013, Victor Olaiya released a music video remix of Baby Jowo(Baby Mi Da)with 2face Idibia.